Tablet Computers....IPad, Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire..Who's Next
Just as I was sitting down to write this article, because I was stunned by the new Kindle Fire's low cost, ($199.00), I happened to pass by the Yahoo, home page, and got another surprise. There trending, today, December 7, 2011, was a $99 Tablet computer. Imagine my surprise. As more and more players enter the market, the price continues to drop. Ironically, I was saying just the other day, I expected the Tablet computers will all be $99. Anyway the tone of my article has changed drastically. I realize that months, weeks, or even days from now this article will be so antiquated. But today is today, so here's what I have today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
Take note as I list a few of the major players in the Tablet computer market. I'm not going to give you an in depth comparison of the tablets I list, just a brief synopsis. I will, however, leave links to articles where you can find get more information.
Prices starting at $499.00...FYI
Ah, iPad, the granddaddy of them all. So young, yet so old. The ipad hit the market , well US markets that is on April 3, 2010. I remember when I first heard of the Tablet computer, (Ipad), I went crazy with the "gotta have it," fever. I even went on the computer, and priced it out. With all the bells and whistles it came to around $1300.00. Oh, but that didn't matter, I thought. "It's worth it." So even though I could barely eat, I was constantly trying to figure out a way to get one. Well you can imagine my chagrin, when just a few months later somewhere around June, 2010 there was already talk of an even more advanced model in the works. Whew! Dodged that bullet, I was relieved I didn't have to subsist off bread, and water, while I played with my new toy.
Well, as the months passed, news began to leak out about a new kid on the block, the Samsung Tablet, which we now know to be the Samsung Galaxy Tab. I'm getting ahead of myself. Anyway, Apple was feverishly working to perfect their baby, before it's playmate came out to play. So in March, 2011, the bundle arrived with all it newest processors, cors etc, don't know what all that means, but here's where I begin leaving you links to find out. The what's and wherefore of the workings of the iPad. Surprise, surprise the playmate, (Samsung Galaxy Tab ),arrived around the same time, and in the vernacular of today, "it was on," and all the other little kiddies began coming out of the gate. More about that later. Word was, the first iPad became nothing more than an expensive paper weight. Craigslist, and other Internet resale markets were literally littered with the first generation iPads.
Samsung Galaxy TabClick thumbnail to view full-size
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Somewhere around January, 2011, I received in the mail a life size replica in card form of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy Tab was to come to market in March, which it did. Well, I fell in love all over again. I just had to have it. The price again was prohibitive, well, at least to me. You see at that time I realized I would no longer have a place to live, as I was losing my home to foreclosure. But again, I began searching for ways to get one, and surprise, surprise, I did get one. Not paying even a fraction of the listed price. That's a story for another article.
While only Apple uses it's operating system, iOS exclusively, apparently most others use the Android operating system, led by Google. For more information on both use the links provided, (highlighted in blue).
Originally, the iPad, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab were about the same size, somewhere in the neighborhood of between 9 and seven inches, small enough to carry in a medium sized purse, or even a coat pocket. Then someone, got the bright idea to make them "larger and thinner." Now the thinner I can work with, but the larger is just a bit too large. So, now I have my "old" Galaxy Tablet, circa 2011, in 2011. The new version came out in May, 2011. So, you see two months in, Samsung had already released a new version. Everyone was jumping on the "larger thinner" band wagon.
I didn't opt for the newer version of the Galaxy Tab, because frankly the smaller version works better for what I'm doing at the moment, traveling, (On The Road With Fastfreta). It's easily concealed in a number of ways, purse, pocket, inside waistband, etc. It can even be camouflaged in it's own cover, which makes it appear to be a day planner. Until I open it up, most assume it's book, or day planner. The "larger thinner" versions are not as easily concealed, which makes them an easy target for thieves. It appears that the smaller screen is appealing, because the new Amazon Kindle Fire uses the 7'' screen, even the new $99 tablet uses the 7'' screen. The new larger version reminds me of when I had the "brick" cell phone. I used to hide behind a tree, or anything available to keep from being seen using it, even though it was popular, and made some feel important to be seen using it. I feel if I had the larger screen I'd do the same thing. Pardon me if it seems I'm "dissing," the larger screen, I'm not, I'm just saying I prefer the 7'' screen, if the larger screen works for you, I say go for it.
Update: I just went on the website for the Samsung Galaxy Tablet and found that there are 13 models. Ranging in screen display sizes from the original 7" screen to the 10.1." I also noticed that the newest version just out has a new display screen size, 9.1." Okay, so they're listening, size matters to some of us. Now, here's the interesting part of the whole thing. All of the major carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobil, Verizon, have the tablets at different prices. Ranging in prices from $199, (Verizon), to $249, with a catch, you must get their service plan. However, if you want to buy the tablet without a service plan, you are looking at prices ranging from $349 to $599, base price. Of course, these prices go up as you add features, warranties, taxes, etc. Keep in mind this information is for December, 2011, no doubt things will change drastically in the months to come, or maybe even weeks.
Kindle FireClick thumbnail to view full-size
Just as the two bestsellers, iPad, and Samsung Galaxy Tab thought they'd cornered the market, in walks this little upstart, The Kindle Fire, with it's low price ($199), and performance equal to theirs, in some instances, if you believe the hype, better. To top it off it's brought to you by one of the leading marketers in the world, Amazon.
A little about this new player. This spiel I got right from the website itself:
- 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
- Thousands of popular apps and games, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and more
- Ultra-fast web browsing - Amazon Silk
- Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
- Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle - same as an iPad
- Fast, powerful dual-core processor
- Favorite children's books, graphic novels, and magazines in rich color
The Kindle Fire also uses the 7" screen, my favorite. I don't know about you but the listed features are the major reasons I bought my tablet in the first place. I would venture to say at this point in time that would be the reason the vast majority are buying them for. Of course they have other uses, and some actually buy tablets for those, but believe me when I show my tablet to friends, family and even strangers, their interests tend to run along the lines of what the Kindle Fire ad says.
Novo7 TabletClick thumbnail to view full-size
Now, you know I've not scratched the surface, when it come to brands on the tablet market, there's, Motorola Xoom, HTC EVO, Dell Streak, Blackberry Playbook, just to name a few of the major brands, not even mentioning the minor players in the field. Who knew just a few short years ago, we'd have this dilemma. Well, Mister Steve Jobs, but he wasn't telling until the iPad release date.
Any way, another interesting fact I learned about the tablets, they offer models with or without the G's, (3G, 4G etc). I don't quite understand that, but apparently you don't need them to operate the tablets, WIFI is enough. So before you buy any of them investigate, investigate. Spend a little quality time with your favorite salesperson, to get the complete details on all models and features of such.
So, as we have seen the Tablet Computer is a horse let out the barn, and is on the run, never to be captured, until a "horse of a different" color come along. I would say wait a little for the latest model of any of your favorite tablet, but it seems the latest is never the latest, each month a new model is offered. Actually I'm quite happy with my "old," Galaxy Tab, but I would love to try the new Kindle Fire. Oh, well not today, gotta eat, pay rent, etc, all those other nasty little habits, I picked up along the way.
As I said before, before you buy, read, discuss, try, etc, any, and all before you make a decision. As I am, I'm sure you'll be quite happy with your acquisition, until a newer model comes along.
The New $99 Player
So what do we have here? Why it's Novo7. The creators are said to have their eye on iPad, in the sense that they are going to give them a run for their money. Well, others have tried it, so far none have succeeded in knocking iPad out of the ballpark. I surmise, there's nothing inherently wrong with the newest player. However, since Americans, and I suspect the world in general are name conscious, a new no name stands little chance, at this point in time, of taking over the tablet market. The scuttle-but is, the Novo7 runs on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and has other hot features. At this time it's only available in China, but is said to be released to the U.S. market in the coming months. Hold on now before you give this horse up for dead read this article, with full details about this new upstart.
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